THE Kaduna State government on Wednesday disclosed that it has approved 6-month maternity leave for lactating mothers in the state.
The state Governor, Mallam Nasir El Rufai made this known at his inauguration ceremony held at the state capital for his second term in office.
According to him, the consensus decision was approved just yesterday to encourage six months exclusive breastfeeding recommended by the Federal Ministry of Health, World Bank and other medical experts.
“Just yesterday the council approved six months maternity leave for our pregnant women to encourage exclusive breastfeeding,” says the El Rufai.
“Children up to the age of five will get free medical care in our hospitals so that they are entitled to free regular medical check-ups in all public hospitals. Please take advantage of this. Continue to take your children to hospitals for regular checks from time to time.”
Nigeria is a signatory to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations aimed to achieve set goals, especially reducing infant mortality and maternal mortality significantly by 2030.
For instance in Nigeria, according to the latest World Health Statistics, under-five mortality is pegged at 100.2 per 1, 000 live births, far from recommended reduction to 25 per 1000 live births.
Maternal death in the country is also ranked 814 per 100, 000 live births compared to the acceptable 70 per 100, 000 live births – a statistics higher than Somalia and Sudan.
The last National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) conducted in 2013 by the National Population Commission ranked infant and child mortality 69 and 128 deaths per 1,000 live births.
However, the governor further emphasised that the medical service is free in all public hospitals within the state.
Citing one of his achievements in the last four year, he said government under his leadership was able to complete the “long-delayed Zaria water project,” adding that the state government would continue to build, expand and maintain infrastructure projects to promote the wellbeing of the people.
He assured residents of continuous investment to the states and need to create jobs to address unemployment, thus increasing the revenue.